Are you on the go, in a hurry but need hearty vegan meals for your family? A new vegan who needs some simple recipes to impress your family and friends? A beginner cook who needs some clever dishes to make you look like a better cook than you are? An obsessive/compulsuve who can only eat meals with 4 ingredients?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions then The 4 Ingredient Vegan is the must-have book for you.
The 4 Ingredient Vegan was written by Maribeth Abrams with Anne Dinshah.
From the back of the book:
"Mary Beth Abrams, MS, is a certifeid nutritional consultant, vegan culinary educator and the author of the cookbook Tofu 1-2-3."
"Anne Dinshah is a lifetime vegan and the author of Healthy Hearty Helpings, a vegan cookbook for busy people who like to eat."
My hat is off to you ladies. As an adult and especially as a vegan, being able to prepare my own meals has been key to my dietary sucess. The 4 Ingredient Vegan will instill some basic cooking skills that you can build on. Sure, you can count on restaurants and having other people cook for you for a while but sooner or later you will be stuck, on your own with nothing but a supermarket and a (perhaps not-well stocked) kitchen. Having some basic cooking skills will save your vegan ass, believe me!
The difference between The 4 Ingredient Vegan and some other cookbooks with more complicated recipes is like the difference between the Ramones and Fleetwood Mac. The 4 Ingredient Vegan's recipes are a whole lot of short songs with a satisfying result, Some other cookbook's recipes are more like trying to see how many notes one could jam into each bar of a 12 minute song whilst having a secret affair with one's lead vocalist.
The 4 Ingredient Vegan is a great cookbook for a beginner or an expert cook. Filled with clever ingredients like purple sweet potatoes and vegan marshmallow creme and crammed with clever things to do with ordinary ingredients that you will have around if you've been a cook-at-home vegan for any amount of time and that you should be able to find easily at your local supermarket, Asian grocery or Natural Foods store.
The preface, "Why Vegan" goes over some very compelling reasons why one would become a vegan:
"Adopting a vegan diet can be a giant step toward improving your health and well-being. It can also be divinely satisfying in terms of the wonderful tastes and textures that plant foods provide. Meat is rarely prepared without ingredients from the plant kingdom to improve its flavor, such as garlic, onions, herbs, and a wide array of vegetable-based sauces. These same delicious flavorings can be used with plant foods to create endlessly exciting yet familiar flavors."
Chapter 1 "Getting Started" has a great section on stocking your kitchen. Each item listed is defined and they give you a clue as to where you might buy some. You might need to get to a supermarket and buy some vegan sour cream, vegan mayonnaise. Or you might click on those links and learn to make your own. It doesn't take as long as you might think. I don't believe vegan marshmallow creme exists. Someone prove me wrong and send me a jar so I can make this Vegan Fudge recipe they include!
Chapter 2 covers Morning Meals, with breakfast and brunch tempters like Cashew French Toast and the Morning Muffin Sandwich.
Chapter 3 is all about Beverages, with a variety of smoothie and cold drink recipes,
Chapter 4 is Soups including a red cabbage soup made with ginger ale!
Chapter 5 is Salads. This section includes some yummy sandwich spreads. I want to try the Tempeh Chicken salad and the Chickpea-of-the-Sea sandwich fillers.
Chapter 6, Dips, Spreads, Savory sauces includes, pasta sauces, spreads for bread and pates for dipping.
Chapter 7, is all Main dishes which look like quick and easy comfort food plus some new dishes to challenge your pallette. I can't wait to try the Roasted Eggplant and Pesto Roulade!
Chapter 8 covers Side Dishes, many of which could double as main dishes. Purple Sweet Potato Pie is going to get made in my kitchen, I swear it to the skies! I might have to use yams, though.
Chapter 9, Desserts, treats, and sweet toppings covers all things decadence and dessert; Baked Pears, Chocolate covered Strawberries, Tahini Chews (which I think I might make tonight)
At the end of it all there is an Index for easy peasy reference.
I've already made the Cashew French Toast and it was FANTASTIC! It's not only a well put together vegan french toast recipe but it gives you some great tips on making perfect french toast.
As much as I love this book I want to complain about one recipe. Pickled Beets.
Four ingredient pickle recipe I just made up this second
salt (doesn't count)
Spice of some sort, I don't know. Dill?
Cooked or raw veg, cut in pickle sizes go in a jar with the vinegar, water, salt, sugar, spice.
Eat a whole jar of pickles, indeed. (frowny face)
I would definitely recommend The 4 Ingredient Vegan to anyone, vegan or not, who wants to eat good food but doesn't want to spend all day with recipes that have a million ingredients and two million steps. If you don't mind canned and "store-bought" ingredients you can really pad your "Go-To" recipe file with quick, easy and impressive-looking breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert ideas from The 4 Ingredient Vegan.